Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese — The Weekender

by in Recipes, November 15th, 2013

Cauliflower Mac N Cheese - The WeekenderWhen I was growing up, macaroni and cheese was a very special treat. The only time the boxed version made an appearance at our table was on the rare occasion when my parents went out in the evening and left us with a baby sitter. The sitter was given strict instructions to serve it with carrot sticks and glasses of milk, which dampened the joy of dayglow pasta just a little.

It wasn’t until I went away to college that I discovered two things about macaroni and cheese: It is dead simple to make from scratch, and if you stir in some kind of vegetable in with the pasta, you can call it a complete meal.

Once I was living off-campus and had a real kitchen at my disposal, I had my way with the world of mac and cheese. My roommates and I made cheesy shells with cheese, stirred ribbons of zucchini in with leftover spaghetti noodles, and we even did a batch of smoked salmon and cream cheese mac and cheese once for a brunch potluck. They were all tasty dishes that left me with a healthy respect for the power of cooked pasta and a quick batch of cheese sauce.

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Thanksgiving Apple Pie Makeovers

by in Holidays, November 15th, 2013

Flat Apple PieThe first Thanksgiving I ever hosted was a cooking obstacle course, except the stress had nothing to with the actual cooking task at hand. It was the fact that I knowingly tossed my family’s traditions out the window, in an effort to create new ones for my own growing family — I was four months pregnant with my first daughter.

The list of what I changed goes on and on (including the stuffing and cranberry sauce). Therein lies my biggest mistake that very first Thanksgiving: I changed too much, too fast. Rather than create the picture-perfect memory of a blissful family Thanksgiving, I was left feeling under-appreciated for all my hard work.

What does any of this have to do with your Thanksgiving plans this year, you may be wondering? It’s pretty simple, actually. Learn from my mistakes. Thanksgiving is first and foremost supposed to be about family and being grateful. People hold tight to their traditions, though, and making drastic changes to beloved family recipes is an invitation for disaster. This doesn’t mean you can’t chart your own course. It just means you should stick with familiar favorites, but give them your own twist.

Twists on the classic apple pie

10 Vegetarian Thanksgiving Mains

by , November 15th, 2013

macaroni and cheese
You don’t need a turkey at the center of the table to make Thanksgiving a special day! Here are delicious dishes that can take the spotlight at your feast, whether you’re a vegetarian or just hosting a few.

Recipes To Try

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What to Watch: Thanksgiving Planning and the Premieres of Farmhouse Rules and On the Rocks

by in Shows, View All Posts, November 15th, 2013

On the RocksGet a head start on Thanksgiving this weekend with the help of Food Network. On Saturday, see Ree’s plan for using up leftovers. Then let Trisha show you her no-fuss holiday menu. And later, see how Giada deals with her Turkey Day remainders. In the evening, watch expert bakers on Cupcake Wars create cupcakes that will lead to the perfect match on a singles’ night.

On Sunday morning, Guy puts his own personal spin on Thanksgiving with a turkeyless menu. Then Damaris is inspired by the season’s many vegetable offerings to create a comforting fall menu. After that is the premiere of Farmhouse Rules, where farm owner Nancy Fuller prepares a family-friendly fall-harvest feast. In the evening, watch all-new episodes of Guy’s Grocery Games and Restaurant Express before the premiere of On the Rocks, where expert John Green helps struggling bar owners find the path to a successful business.

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Diner vs. BBQ: Which Restaurant Divided Concept Did You Like Better?

by in Shows, November 14th, 2013

Restaurant Divided“Anytime you mix friendship with business, there’s always inherent conflict, and you can see it’s sort of coming to the surface,” Restaurant Divided‘s Rocco DiSpirito said not long after arriving at Against Da Grill, a Staten Island, N.Y., eatery specializing in diner-style classics. Co-owners Kurron Mangin and Vinny Lima — the chef and the business manager at Against Da Grill, respectively — are longtime best friends facing imminent closure of their restaurant if they can’t turn around the business. While Kurron is committed to maintaining the original diner concept at Against Da Grill, Vinny believes a change is in order and proposed they begin serving traditional barbecue instead. “I feel that the Island is missing that,” Vinny explained. “If we could bring something that no one else is doing, we have a better chance at success.”

The team at Against Da Grill is a tightknit one: The staff is like family, and the restaurant is well-ingrained in the community. So for Rocco to decide what the best next step should be for Against Da Grill, he ultimately divided it. After a complete interior overhaul and menu redesign, Kurron served customers at the new Against Da Grill while Vinny ran S.I.Q. on the other side of the restaurant. Rocco listened to customer and critic feedback, tasted dishes from both eateries and reviewed both restaurants’ chances for lasting success before deciding that S.I.Q. offered the most opportunity for viability.

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#TBT: Scott Conant

by in Food Network Chef, November 14th, 2013

Scott ConantIt’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.

Long before Scott Conant took his seat at the judges’ table on Chopped, he spent his days in the kitchens of some of the most-celebrated restaurants in New York City and abroad, earning his reputation as one of the premiere chefs and restaurateurs in the industry. He graduated from culinary school and soon moved to Germany for several years before returning stateside to begin his journey up the culinary ladder, first as a sous chef and eventually as an executive chef at San Domenico and City Eatery, respectively.

Throughout his training, Scott focused much of his attention in the kitchen on his passion for Italian food. He spent time in Italy cooking with renowned chefs and relatives alike, which ultimately inspired within him a style of Italian cuisine all his own. His roster of flavors and ingredients went on to be featured at the forefront of several of his restaurants, including his now-signature eatery, Scarpetta, and in many of the dishes he’s made while competing on Chopped After Hours and Chopped All-Stars.

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Alex Guarnaschelli’s Top 3 Tips for Holiday Entertaining

by in Entertaining, November 14th, 2013

Alex Guarnaschelli's Top 3 Tips for EntertainingAlex Guarnaschelli puts her culinary chops on display daily at her New York City restaurants Butter and The Darby, but she also knows a thing or two about entertaining a crowd (especially during the holidays). When FN Dish caught up with her at the New York City Wine & Food Festival, she was throwing a jazz brunch in the newly renovated Butter, featuring dishes from her debut cookbook, Old-School Comfort Food. Though the event was small and intimate, her entertaining ideas work for any occasion — big or small:

Mix up the menu. You don’t have to serve an entire buffet of right-out-of-the-oven hot dishes. A mix of both hot and cold bites not only keeps the menu interesting, but it also gives you more time to mingle with guests. Try putting out an assorted meat plate with some dried fruits, toasted nuts or a mix of cheeses. It’s an elevated way to serve a wider variety of food without making more work for yourself. Alex recommends pancetta, culatello ham, mustela loin and capocollo Calabrese. Don’t forget to set out grilled bread or pita too.

More tips from Alex

Thanksgiving’s Finest Brussels Sprouts Sides — Fall Fest

by in Holidays, In Season, November 14th, 2013

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic and CranberriesYou likely have your Thanksgiving menu set. For all we know, it was set in stone years ago, probably when your all-knowing elders were in charge. The turkey part of Turkey Day is a no-brainer, but the sides are like a puzzle. You’ll serve the usual contenders — fluffy mashed potatoes with a puddle of gravy, Grandma’s sweet potato casserole (marshmallows and all) — but you’ll need something else to balance out all that richness.

This year, as your family gathers around the dinner table for yet another Thanksgiving meal, look to another veggie that’s at the top of every restaurant menu and grocery list: Brussels sprouts. We like ours cooked right — caramelized and tender at every layer. As you draft up your preliminary rounds of potential recipes, keep in-season Brussels sprouts at the top of your list.

Turkey Day is known for chaos. Ease things up and simply drizzle halved sprouts with olive oil for basic Roasted Brussels Sprouts by Food Network Magazine. And with just one small addition, Brussels Sprouts with Bacon take on a smoky saltiness, perfect for the big Thanksgiving meal or any night of the week.

Get more Brussels sprouts recipes from friends and family

12 Delicious Ways with Root Vegetables

by , November 14th, 2013

Hearty root veggies make for delicious, bone-warming dishes. Pick them up on your next trip to the market and get cooking!

These root vegetables, which have a sweet, nutty flavor, resemble carrots but are white in color. One cup raw provide...

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Enter for a Chance to Win Rachael’s Week in a Day Cookbook

by in Contests, November 14th, 2013

Enter for a Chance to Win Rachael's Week in a Day CookbookRachael to the rescue: Make dinner tonight, and be prepared for the rest of the week too. Here’s an easy way to prepare a week’s worth of meals — for yourself or the whole family — in just one day.

In Rachael’s newest cookbook, Week in a Day, you and your family can enjoy delicious, well-balanced, stress-free meals. She shares five seasons’ worth of recipes featured on the show, offering strategies and tips for preparing a whole week’s worth of meals in a single day. Many of the nutritious recipes also include QR codes linking you to videos of Rachael demonstrating techniques step by step.

You can buy Rachael’s new cookbook here, or enter for a chance to win one now. To enter: Tell FN Dish which one of Rachael’s Week in a Day recipes is your favorite in the comments (you must include the recipe URL). We’re giving five lucky, randomly selected winners each a copy of the book.

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